I wrote about dedication in relation to musicianship last year. That post still resonates, and since I’ve moved back to Nashville it is maybe even more striking to me. This city has a rhythmic and melodic center that’s different from any other place I’ve been and certainly lived in. Maybe that’s why I feel at home here — the pulse (and every place has one) somehow syncs with mine.
Two great musicians have already died this week. Neal Casal and Donnie Fritts. I knew neither personally, but admired both of them, their work, and their dedication to the craft of creating songs and music. I can’t get either of them off my mind this morning and the question that’s spinning around in my head is that age old one: does any of this really matter? Will it matter, when I’m breathing my last breath that I dedicated myself to music and writing, that I created a body of work?
The tendency is to say no, it won’t, what will matter is how well I loved, how good a friend I was, how empathetic a listener I was, how I raised my son… all of those things. We know them by heart. Those things are important things. But I actually beg to differ that they’re all that matters. The work does matter. And we all know what our work is.
Neal Casal and Donnie Fritts seemed to know what their work was. Whether or not they felt it mattered as they were taking their last breaths is something I don’t know, can’t even imagine really, but we know that it did and always will. Sometimes the best way of loving, of being a good friend, of being an empathetic listener, of parenting, is by giving your best — your gifts, your work, your self, to the world.
Peace and love and happy Wednesday, Y’all.